Did you know that 76 babies will be born prematurely in Australia today? Because it’s World Prematurity Day, let’s look at how to help families in need.
By Mama Disrupt®
Every year, 1 in 10 babies decides to make an early entrance into the world. That’s over 26,000 little bundles of joy in Australia, and a staggering 15 million globally.
Now, there’s this amazing group, Life’s Little Treasures Foundation, and they’re all about supporting families with these tiny, early arrivals. They’re here to talk about World Prematurity Day. Which is a big deal because it’s all about bringing attention to the ups and downs of having a baby born before 37 weeks.
“THE CHANCES ARE YOU KNOW A PREMMIE BABY BUT WHAT YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW IS HOW THEIR LIVES HAVE BEEN IMPACTED BY BEING BORN PREMATURELY.”
Celebrating these tiny warriors
Felicia Welstead, the big boss at Life’s Little Treasures, shared some heartwarming and heart-wrenching insights with us.
“World Prematurity Day is about honouring the babies born too soon, celebrating those who graduated from the neonatal unit to eventually go home and remembering the babies who lost their fight to survive,” she says.
Prematurity remains the number one cause of neonatal deaths worldwide, with 76 babies being born preterm in Australia each day. Causes for why babies are born prematurely are still not fully understood, making it difficult to predict or prevent premature labour.
“Babies born too early may face life-threatening complications and have lifelong health problems. One in every 5 babies born premature requires some form of resuscitation at birth and will often suffer further complications, as a result of entering the world too soon. Usually, these babies will be admitted to a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) or a Special Care Nursery (SCN) due to the complexities associated with being born premature,” Felicia says.
“The chances are you know a premmie baby but what you might not know is how their lives have been impacted by being born prematurely – from spending extra time in the hospital, to requiring surgeries and medication, to continual developmental interventions. Not to mention, the impact this has had on their family.”
A joyous time often overshadowed by fear
When a baby is born premature, it can be unexpected, leaving families are unprepared for the journey ahead. Life’s Little Treasures Foundation provides vital information, support and connection opportunities to families in hospital and when they go home.
“We’ve seen and experienced first-hand how having a premature baby takes an emotional, psychological and financial toll on families with many of our team having the lived experience. We understand the feeling of helplessness and isolation that families often go through at a time when things are so uncertain,” she says.
“That’s where Life’s Little Treasures Foundation comes in. We provide a range of products and services which include our NICU Connections parent groups to enable families facing similar circumstances to come together and share their experience. We also supply educational content, care packages and breakfast boxes. As well as financial assistance in the form of accommodation and fuel vouchers to families during their baby’s hospital stay.”
Life’s Little Treasures Foundation is doing something really special on Friday, 17 November. They want families to share photos and stories of their early arrivals with the hashtag #76borntoosoon. To spread the word about what it means to have a baby born too soon. And they’re encouraging places to Light it Purple to show support for these little fighters and their families.
If you’re feeling generous, you can donate to Life’s Little Treasures at www.lifeslittletreasures.org.au.
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